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Anne Collis, National Foster Association in Wales
"Without the resources we can't guarantee there won't be another Waterhouse - this time to do with foster care"
 real 28k

BBC Wales's Gail Foley
"Insurers acting for the former Clwyd County Council have settled 140 claims - the biggest for 180,000"
 real 56k

Thursday, 15 February, 2001, 09:06 GMT
Multi-million payouts for abuse victims
Child abuse inquiry graphic
More than a hundred victims are awaiting payouts
Around 4m in compensation has been paid to people who suffered abuse at children's homes in north Wales.

On the first anniversary of the damning report by Sir Ronald Waterhouse - which found hundreds of children had been abused in care homes - a warning has been issued that more needs to be done to prevent another scandal.

But this time, the area for concern is fostering.

Anne Collis, of the National Foster Association in Wales, says there is still a long way to go.

"One of the things that happened after the tribunal was the introduction of UK national standards for foster care," she explained.

Sir Ronald Waterhouse
Sir Ronald Waterhouse: Report into child abuse
"But without the resources to back them up and implement them, we can't guarantee that there won't be another Waterhouse - this time to do with foster care."

The long-running inquiry resulted in a series of recommendations to protect young people in care from abuse.

The three tribunal members heard evidence from 650 people who had been in care in north Wales since 1974.

Complaints were made to the inquiry about 40 homes in the old north Wales counties of Gwynedd and Clwyd, although most allegations centred on just seven.

The resulting report - published exactly a year ago - concluded that widespread sexual abuse and physical abuse had taken place at care homes in north east Wales.

Since then insurers acting for the former Clwyd County Council have settled 140 claims from victims.

Eleven former residents of children's homes have been awarded more than 300,000 compensation at the High Court in London last July.

The biggest single payout so far has been for 180,000.

Victim's group

A further 100 compensation claims are still in the pipeline.

Campaigner Steve Meesham, of the victims' support group NORWAS, is still fighting his own case.

He said he felt the report had achieved very little.

Fostering has now largely replaced residential care for the three thousand children in Wales who are looked after by social services.

But the National Foster Care Association is warning that more resources need to be put into training if there is not to be another inquiry into abuse in care.

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See also:

02 Mar 00 | Wales
Law change to protect children
15 Feb 00 | UK Politics
Government acts on abuse report
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